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Gutshot Rotgut: Hawgleg Releases Gaming-Themed Whiskey

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Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP writes:

optional field & Forager: Sorry, gents, but we're committed to keeping this at 25mm for now. grin

Rogues1: He heh. I like that! And yes, you should have the kids drink Mountain Dew. Just the thing: get 'em hopped up on caffeine and then send 'em home.

Royal Marine: You've definitely found the reason why drinking will get you in the end!

Gunfreak: Very cool idea! Just make sure your gun club has space for people to sleep it off!

flooglestreet: Probably not. I hear dolphins are mean drunks!

MacrossMartin: Just don't try to double park with your Bongolesian diplomatic license plates!

4,745 hits since 1 Apr 2012

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Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP of Hawgleg Publishing writes:

The boys from Hawgleg Publishing have finally sobered up enough to announce (with much back-slappin' and gee-hawin') that they are releasing their latest product, distilled from the very finest of ingredients and imbued with the best of intentions, straight from the backwoods of the Bourbon Trail itself. With much fanfare (and while waiting for that donor liver to arrive), Mitchell, Murphy and Mauer are proud to announce the release of Gutshot Rotgut.

Gutshot Rotgut: Tolerable Sippin' Whiskey

Gutshot Rotgut is a handcrafted, micro-distilled, single-malt (probably) whiskey, based on a recipe that Murphy obtained from some old family friends back in Virginia.

"My Family has known the Baldwin sisters for years," said Gutshot co-creator Mike Murphy. "I was fortunate enough to earn their trust and they passed The Recipe on to me, which I was able to make good use of in our latest venture."

This is the first non-gaming product to be released by the company (not counting T-shirts, mugs, and their line of designer thongs), but it still ties into Hawgleg's key interests: the American Wild West and historical miniatures gaming. The first association – the creators feel – is obvious, as whiskey was (and is) an important part of any Wild West movie or novel.

"I can't even picture a Western movie without someone being in a saloon and ordering a shot of whiskey," said Rotgut co-creator Mike Mitchell, taking a sip of his own beverage, his eyes bulging out like a gecko for a moment. Then, suppressing a Darth Vaderish wheeze, he muttered the word, "Smooth…"

The second connection, they admit, is a bit harder to make.

"First and foremost, Hawgleg is a gaming company," said company co-founder Mike Murphy. "We wrestled with it throughout the night, trying some way to fit it into what we enjoy doing. In fact, it's what some people say we do best. We went at it from every angle we could think of until, at last, it just sort of came to us: If we couldn't make it fit into what we did, then we would fit what we did into it. We decided to put a cowboy miniature inside each bottle of our whiskey."

The boys believe that the lead miniature – aside from being a fun prize akin to the toys you used to get out of a Cracker Jack box – also serves a practical purpose.

"The lead seems to give the drink that little something extra," Mitchell explained taking another sip. "It's almost like it somehow helps kick your brain cells around a little more than you get when you drink other whiskey."

Paul agreed. "Yeah, it's pretty good," he said.

The figures are the work of noted Western miniature sculptor Forrest Harris of Knuckleduster Productions.

"By that, we mean that Forrest sculpts miniatures, not that he is miniature," Mitchell said. "As far as we know, he's completely normal… as in he lives in Normal, Illinois."

When offered the project, Forrest grew visibly excited.

"This was something I could really get behind," he said. "The kind of thing I could grab with both hands and just plunge right in. When Mitchell and Murphy presented it to me, I just knew that this wasn't the time to hesitate, but to just rush in and give it everything I had, no matter how long it took or how rough it got. This was something I wanted and, by gosh, I was going to take it and stake my claim to it."

Forrest Harris provides amazing sculpts, including these available at his website

In the end, Forrest delivered what the boys needed – and more. He created a round number of 17 new miniatures to be included in the various bottles of Gutshot Rotgut.

"I must admit that Forrest really knows how to please a guy," Mitchell said with a smile. "I was never worried about him having the goods because he has a reputation as someone who knows how to handle tiny cowboys. But even still, when he gives it to you personally, at the same time catering to your every desire but still maintaining the dominant skill of a master to give you even more than you think you can handle, you walk away knowing that, in the end, you've received the handiwork of a gentleman."

"I like the figures he created for us," Paul said.

Each bottle of Hawgleg's signature hooch will contain a random miniature. These are painted and based and, when the bottle is empty, ready for use in a rousing game of Gutshot. In addition to the figures he created for Hawgleg, Forrest has his own miniatures for sale at (including, appropriately, a set of drinking and smoking saloon patrons).

Up Whiskey River Without a Paddle

As it often has in the past, the company's newest product came as a result of the boy's annual Spring Fling. This year, due to the increased expense of international airfare and the fact that both Mitchell and Murphy were on the TSA's "No Fly List," the co-founders of Hawgleg Publishing decided to stay domestic and go Old School with a good old-fashioned road trip.

"I was put on a Homeland Security Watch List due to a simple misunderstanding regarding my involvement with CSA Re-enacting – they don't trust anyone with 400 pounds of black powder stored in old coffee cans tucked up between the rafters above their garage," Murphy said. "And there was that incident with the wombat at the local zoo. But, I said it then and I say it now, 'Wombats need love, too.'"

Mitchell, on the other hand, was still on the list due to his habit of getting back in line for the TSA pat-downs.

"I don't know why they say that upsets them," Mitchell mumbled into his whiskey glass, taking yet another sip. "I mean, Georgie and Keith don't seem to mind. In fact, Georgie always sends me the nicest cards and candies during the holidays." Mitchell paused then, took another sip, and seemed to consider something else. "Or maybe it was my "special underwear" that showed up during the body scan? I don't know," he admitted at last. "Whatever the reason, we decided to stay home in the U.S. of A this year."

On the Road Again

After the Mikes tricked Paul into flying down to Texas (he's been reluctant to participate in the Spring Fling festivities after the unfortunate Brokeback Mountain incident back in 2005), they shanghaied him and hit the road in a 1969 Dodge Charger.

"I wish I could say it was painted orange like the one the Duke boys drove," Mitchell said. "But it wasn't. It was purple with some kind of rainbow flag on the roof. I figured it was close enough."

Paul wasn't amused. "They couldn't even get the car right," he muttered. "But at least I was able to talk Mitchell out of wearing his Daisy Duke shorts."

The boys didn't have a plan, they just hit the road and let it take them where it lead. They hit the obvious tourist locations like the Alamo in San Antonio and the Stonehenge duplicate located outside of Ingram, Texas. Then they got a hankering for some good bourbon whiskey, and that of course got them heading toward the source of all great whiskey: a strange and distant land known as Kentucky.

"Ahhhh, the far-off land known as 'Kentucky' is famous for a few things… some of them are even legal!" Murphy said with a dreamy look in his eyes.

Starting to Come Together

To cut a very long story short (to read the full story, including our run-in with Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty, visit the Hawgleg website), it was there, surrounded by the towering majesty in a forest of wood, that the Hawgleg boys decided that this was something they wanted to grab and keep hold of. So they went home to Murphy's garage and set up their own still and started crafting their own, unique brand of whiskey: Gutshot Rotgut.

The first batches were somewhat less that promising.

"The first time we put a miniature in the bottle, it didn't sink to the bottom," Paul said.

Gutshot Rotgut: Smoother than kerosene!

"Yeah, that was bad. We had to dump that batch out, and we made Murphy clean his bathtub before mixing the second batch," Mitchell said. "We also made him promise to wash his feet outside before coming inside the house again." Reportedly, Murphy's lady friend was very appreciative of that.

After the initial misstep (grass still refuses to grow where that first batch was dumped), things quickly improved. Following the Baldwin sisters' Recipe solved future problems, creating an elixir guaranteed to put the shine in moonshine.

"It's good," Paul said.

Of course, there were a few problems. Even though this is based on a classic moonshine recipe, the boys went legal with it and had it inspected by the authorities. That led to a change in the packaging. Oddly enough, they didn't object to the inclusion of a lead miniature into the bottle.

"If lead was good enough for a generation of hyper school kids, it's good enough for gamers. Frankly, I can't see how it could make things worse," the representative from the Whiskey Authority said.

No, the problem came down to the label calling this "Fine Sippin' Whiskey."

"After his eyesight cleared up and he could talk again, the Revenuer Man said there was no way he could let us use the word 'Fine' to describe our 'concoction.' So, we had to change it to 'Tolerable,' which was a compromise on some of the four-letter adjectives he had suggested to describe our drink."

Gutshot Rotgut: Truth in advertising!

With the first batch passing muster, Gutshot Rotgut - Tolerable Sippin' Whiskey was ready for distribution. Fortunately, Murphy had a few mob connections from his days in Las Vegas ("Let's just say that I know a fella who can always find you high-quality consumer electronics at a discount price") and was able to leverage that into a back-end deal that would make everyone happy. More or less.

Because, of course, there is no back-end deal and there is no product. Although Mitchell, Murphy and Mauer do enjoy taking a shot now and then, they only drink whiskey, not make it. This is just another bit of tomfoolery for April Fools Day. Tip a glass of your favorite drink for us, and have a great day!